Thesis Proposal

(Due at the midpoint of the first semester of thesis credit hours)

Your MA thesis will present an original argument of 40-60 pages. In many cases, foundational thesis ideas emerge from the seminar papers and coursework that you have completed in the program. When considering potential thesis topics, take some time to reflect upon your coursework and to review your seminar papers and the feedback that you have received. 

Your thesis chair should be a faculty member with a research and teaching interest in your topic. You will enroll in ENC/AML/ENL/LIT 6971 (Master’s Thesis) with that faculty member and communicate regularly about your proposal, reading and research recommendations, and potential committee members. 

At the midpoint of the first semester of thesis credits (October 14 for Fall 2023, March 1 for Spring 2024), students must submit to the graduate advisor 1) the 5-page proposal that includes a title, an overview of the existing critical research, and a proposed argument that draws on, expands, revises, or departs from relevant scholarship 2) a working bibliography of at least ten (unannotated) sources and 3) a copy of the Master’s Committee Approval Form signed by all three committee members. The remainder of the semester should be spent on research and drafting the thesis in consultation with your committee members. 

Recommended Readings:

Booth, Colomb, Williams, eds. The Craft of Research (particularly the chapters “From Topics to Questions,” “Making a Claim and Supporting It,” and “Using Sources”).

Clark, Irene L. “Entering the Conversation: Graduate Thesis Proposals as Genre.” Profession, 2005, 141-152.

da Sousa Correa, Owens, eds. The Handbook to Literary Research (particularly the chapter “Planning, Writing, or Presenting a Dissertation or Thesis”).